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AQ Student Recognized as 2011 Meijer Games Female Athlete of the Year

Aquinas junior Jessica LeMire has been playing tennis since she was in third grade, but it was her racquetball performance with father, David, which earned her a title at the 2011 Meijer State Games of Michigan. Along their first place performance in mixed doubles, Jessica was nominated, and won, the 2011 Female Athlete of the Year award.

“I was completely taken back by the news. I had no idea that I had been nominated, but at the same time I felt ecstatic and honored to receive the award,” said LeMire. “The thing that made it even more special was that I contended beside my racquetball hero, my dad. The event was an unforgettable father-daughter bonding experience and we have memories that we will cherish for a lifetime.”

The Meijer State Games are Olympic-style sports festivals held in 31 states which encourage the Olympic standards of sportsmanship, fair play, perseverance, and respect. Male, Female and Youth Athletes of the Year in each state are nominated and chosen based on these ideals. LeMire, who is a member of the Aquinas women’s tennis team, was nominated by Coach Stephen Greene.

“Jessica works hard, is always improving. She carries herself in a positive way on and off the court,” Greene said. “I was happy when she received this award, any praise for Jessica is well deserved. She has a good balance in her life, gets good grades and wins tennis matches too!”

LeMire was recognized in Lansing at the State Capitol on January 24, 2012, along with the Male and Youth Athletes of the Year. During the conference, LeMire recounted her favorite moments of the Games as “the opening ceremonies and procession of athletes at Fifth Third Ballpark that made the event so magical.”

Now, LeMire is focused on her psychology major and third tennis season as an Aquinas Saint.

“Jessica is a model for all my players,” Coach Jordan O’Neill said. “She is a great ambassador for our college and the Aquinas women’s tennis program. I am excited to coach her for another year!”